Concealing Source When Distributing Code

If you need to make prebuilt routines available to others but want to keep the source code from which they are built confidential, there is an MPLAB® XC8 compiler option that can help.

The compiler’s intermediate (p-code) files and LPP libraries (which are based on p-code files) are text files, and their content can be easily examined. Although the information in these files is in a different form from that of the original C source, the source code could be gleaned from these files with a bit of effort.

The compiler’s --SHROUD option will protect the original source code used to build intermediate or library files by removing or obfuscating C comments, line numbers, and variable names. This option does not affect the execution of the final code which uses the shrouded routines; however, source-level debugging of those routines will not be possible.

If you are using this option in MPLAB X IDE, enter it as an Additional option in the XC8 Compiler category. Specific information on building libraries using MPLAB XC8 can be found in this article.

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